Hold On to Your Joysticks

Nintendo's powerful new game system could get zapped

Sometime in the next few months, an argument is going to break out in the 30 million families infected by the Nintendo video-game craze. The kids, primed by saturation advertising, are going to tell their parents they "gotta have" the awesome new 16-bit Nintendo system for Christmas. The parents, remembering the hundreds of dollars they have invested in the old 8-bit Nintendo, are going to say, "No way."

Nintendo last week began taking bets on how many kids are going to win that argument. At the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, the purveyor of the world's most successful electronic-game system...

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